Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Life Less Styled

I love social media. Like, I LOVE it. I love reading and writing blogs. I love keeping up with friends on Facebook. I love meeting people from all over on Twitter.

In my opinion, one unintentional fallout from social media is the propensity for a highly styled life.

The rich and famous have had personal stylists for years. Stylists existed in retail shops and magazines, not in the every day home. Professionally decorated homes were for the well-to-do.
With the advent of mediums such as Twitter and Instagram, more and more people were able to share multiple aspects of their life at the click of a button. Their clothes. Their food. Their kids. Their daily lives. Even their red cups :)

Family pictures no longer consisted of setting the self-timer and running to jump into the picture. We hire professional photographers. We coordinate our outfits, but don't want to be too matchy. We pick out our location to convey a message (I live at the beach! I love nature!). We are posed. We hope that our special moments are captured, so we have the perfect picture for our Christmas cards. Believe me. I've been there. So many of us have been there.

Even our "candids" are styled. A pair of stunning high heels or logo'd flats are precariously tossed at just the right angle. They fall next to our shopping bags, with the logos that just happen to be showing. Or we show our red cups and just happen to capture a new piece of jewelry or the logo on our car steering wheel within the shot.

Is it bad? It's not. It's not hurting anyone (from my point of view anyways). But what saddens me is the loss of true candid shots of life. Will there not be pictures of family members wearing cheesy matching t-shirts anymore? How about pictures of friends who just got in a frosting fight at a 16th birthday party (ahem...)? Or worst, skipping out pictures all together because you don't look the way you want. Andrea shared this post and it really resonated with me.

Just food for thought.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Fiscal Friday: The Christmas List

For this week's Fiscal Friday post, I'm discussing my Christmas list. Not a "My Favorite Things", Oprah style list. Or even a "What I Want for Christmas" list (I keep that on Pinterest--it's how J knows what I want!). This Christmas list names who I'm buying for this year.

Aside from immediate family, I feel this list changes every year. Some years, I only buy for immediate family. Other years, I include all of my friends' kids, cousins' kids, etc etc. There was no rhyme or reason really to why I did or did not include someone.

In the spirit of fiscal responsibility, I am really giving serious thought to who I am buying for and what is purchased. In past years, we've been extremely generous. Previous gifts to immediate family members have includes a David Yurman bracelet, airline tickets, iPads etc etc. That list is not meant to be a brag, as part of our remaining debt includes those purchases. Debt: The gift that keeps on giving!

I really do want to give presents to my cousins or at least just their kids. They are always so generous with Jack. Even though we didn't have a big 1st birthday party, they still gave him presents. So one thing I'm contemplating is a family present. Both of my cousins' have kids between the ages of 3-10. Wondering if a restaurant and movie gift card combo would work? Or a Target or Walmart gift card? Or a game night themed present?

Don't even get me started on what the heck I'm going to purchase for my immediate family...

Join in on the conversation by commenting or tweeting me @natylite78, using the hashtag #fiscalresponsibility

Friday, November 1, 2013

Fiscal Friday: Perception

Most days, I think I am a fairly confident person, unencumbered by others' opinions of me. However, there are days where I completely disappoint myself.

Wait, isn't this supposed to be a "Fiscal Friday" post?

It is. I promise! Just hang for a minute.

While on a business trip, my coworker and I went to Nordstrom. Somehow, we found ourselves in the Prada boutique. Then someone who sounded just like me, proceeded to inquire about the cost of a Prada bag. Not only did I  the person who looked and sounded just like me inquire, but also walked around with the bag. What did I (let's be real here) do, but pretend what it would be like to carry an expensive bag. Then I started telling some cockaninny story that maybe I would ask my husband to buy it for me.


Who was this person saying this crazy business to the Prada salesperson?

I know me. The real me. The one who wouldn't ask for that because it isn't fiscally responsible. The one who knows that would pay for several months of pre-school.

But the words were falling out of my mouth at a rapid pace. For some reason, it MATTERED to me that the salesperson and my co-worker would even remotely think that this bag would be a viable option. Their perception of me mattered.

And that, my friends, is why being fiscally responsible will always be at the forefront for me. Becoming complacent may mean I'm one glass of champagne away from a big and unnecessary purchase. Because when I least expect it, someone else's perception of me may be the reason why I say "yes" to the Prada.

Have you ever felt the need to spend for this reason? Join in on the conversation by commenting or using the hash tag #fiscalresponsibility on Twitter.